On This Day: When Ashwin broke Dennis Lillee's record

On November 27 last year, Ravichandran Ashwin became the fastest bowler to take 300 Test wickets, reaching the milestone in just his 54th match.

Ravichandran Ashwin (C) being congratulated by captain Virat Kohli (L) after he bagged his 300th wicket against Sri Lanka at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur on November 27, 2017.   -  AFP

Australian legend Dennis Lillee picked up wickets as fast as he could bowl. He reached 300 Test wickets in just his 56th match in 1981, a record he would hold on to for 36 years.

Then, in Nagpur last year, Ravichandran Ashwin, with his off-spin and all the variations that he throws down the wicket, eclipsed the Aussie pacer’s record in India’s win in the second Test match against Sri Lanka, reaching 300 Test wickets in his 54th match on November 27.

It wasn’t just Lillee who he beat to the mark. Ashwin was faster than such illustrious names like Muttiah Muralitharan (58 Tests), Richard Hadlee, Malcolm Marshall and Dale Steyn (61 Tests each). And by reaching 300 wickets, he became the fifth Indian bowler to reach the milestone after Anil Kumble (who ended his career with 619 Test wickets), Kapil Dev (434), Harbhajan Singh (417) and Zaheer Khan (311).

“I really hope I can go on to double these 300 wickets; I have only played 50 Tests. It’s not easy bowling spin; it looks like you’re just ambling up. But there’s a lot behind it. We’ve bowled a lot of overs, me and Jaddu (Ravindra Jadeja). And the break has helped. I’m a lot more fresher now comparatively,” Ashwin had said after the feat.